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Northfield Roundtable and MnDOT Present Context Sensitive Solutions
Submitted by Rob Hardy on Tue, 05/22/2012 - 10:57am
The Northfield Roundtable invites you to a public meeting with MnDOT about their new, more flexible approach to planning:Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS). CSS is a new way of thinking for MnDOT. For those of you who are located along our state highways or who will be planning future projects there, this is your opportunity to learn from MnDOT about their new planning framework and what is possible under CSS (see details below). The meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 30th at 7 p.m. in the Community Resource Bank Community Room
At our invitation, Scott Bradley (MnDOT Director of Context Sensitive Solutions) and Mark Schoenfelder (Planning Director, MnDOT District 6) have agreed to come to Northfield to share some information about CSS - a new approach that relies on broadly informed innovation and flexibility in planning that balances community, environmental, safety and mobility objectives in transportation projects. The Federal Highway Administration defines CSS as follows:
CSS is a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that involves all stakeholders in providing a transportation facility that fits its setting. It is an approach that leads to preserving and enhancing scenic, aesthetic, historic, community, and environmental resources while improving or maintaining safety, mobility & infrastructure conditions (CSS Workshop Manual, Nov. 2011, p. 10).
In 1998, the Federal Highway Administration provided the leadership in encouraging context sensitive solutions. In 1999 they selected five “pilot” states (CT, KY, MD, MN & UT) to further regional and national implementation and mainstreaming of CSS. Several cities in Minnesota have taken advantage of the new planning approach; examples will be provided at the meeting. For more information, go to the website(http://www.cts.umn.edu/contextsensitive/) with a link to a CSS interactive/multimedia E-learning module;an informational flyer provided by MnDOT is also attached.
The purpose of this meeting IS for Northfield stakeholders to gather information about highway planning possibilities; it is NOT to review past issues NOR to negotiate projects. The public meeting is for the purpose of hearing what might be possible regarding planning, project development, and design as Northfield moves ahead in its future projects along our highways.
This session is timely. With so many projects in some stage of planning or execution near/along our highways (MnDOTRoadside Landscaping Partnership Program,TIGER grant, Safety Center, Emergency Medical Services, Transit Hub, Highway #3 Gateway Improvement Plan), it seems critical that those involved in the planning and execution be aware of possibilities and not blinded by past experiences or beliefs. A major limitation Northfield might face is what we think we know about MnDOT and how they work/don’t work. This is an opportunity to address that limitation.